Kharine, also known as the Desert Continent or the Scarred Lands, lies to the east.
It is unlike all the other continents and by far the most feared and dangerous of the 4 ‘wild’ continents.
Only the brave, fool-hardy or unlucky decide to live here. It certainly isn’t a place where you would actually choose to live unless you seek great wealth.
For wealth is what Kharine has, it is a continent that is extremely rich in minerals, especially gold and many precious gems.
Kharine is one of the smaller regions of Arcadia.
The majority of Kharine is made up of deserts and wastelands that have slowly dried up over time due to the lack of any major rivers.
Many thousands of years ago it is said the region was a vast rain forest, covered almost entirely in jungle, swamps and wetlands.
The climate has changed dramatically to such a degree that the sun has scorched the lands and dried up all but the most major rivers.
The climate gets hotter the further north you travel. South is slightly cooler especially around the various mountain ranges that divide the west from the east coast.
There are small pockets of mostly sparse forest that cling to the eastern side of the ranges. These forests are but a fraction of what they used to be.
Kharine is not known as the Desert Continent for nothing.
It is believed that one day the entire region will turn into a desert wasteland which is slowly edging forward, moving down from the north and spreading from the east coast, pushing into the west.
If it weren’t for the various mountain ranges mostly found in the south, the rainfalls would have disappeared a long time ago.
There really isn’t much seasonal change on Kharine, though the summer months do bring severe heat and high winds.
The continent is mostly made up of dwarves and humans.
Dwarves dominate, keeping themselves mostly to the mountainous areas for protection from the elements and burying their mines and fortresses deep into the mountains.
The nations of Khala and Kharazir to the extreme north are predominately human. They have managed to adapt to the harsh environment, mostly living underground.
The kingdom of Uruka is a dwarven province and produces huge volumes of gold. Relationships between Uruka and its neighbors are anything but friendly.
The humans seem to be in league with dark forces and control huge forces of orcs which usually rest by day and work by night.
Calahar, the forgotten forest is run by dark elves that are evil and protect their lands from outsides. Their forest is the only forest that is lush and so dense its floors rarely see the light of day.
Halflings can be found in the Ashka area and in and around the Golden Hills. It is said that the majority of these small people are unusually tainted by the greed and power that comes with gold and gems.
Settlements are really the only safe haven for any sane person. The wilderness is just too dangerous to venture into.
Trade caravans and travelers all stick to the roads and even then there is so much danger barely more than 50% survive the journey.
Many of the settlements are underground, over the cover of forest or the shadow of mountains.
The entire region is riddled with dangerous and evil creatures of all kinds. Orcs are rife, especially to the north, while goblins can be found in large numbers south of Kurzan Creek.
Dwarves are without any doubt in control of Kharine due to their grip of the gold and gen mining. However through their greed they have produced many enemies, even amongst themselves.
Humans are increasing in numbers, evil to the core and as dark as the night. The leaders to the north have taken control of Orc armies and are using them to obtain more power and gold.
The rest of the continent are made up of elves and halflings. All are unusually hardened by Khrine’s tough way of life and are considered dangerous and lawless.
Gold and Gems is what Khrine produces and it is produced in vast quantities. Much of it is shipped in its raw form to Caledon and Erasmus.
Some of it is traded internally with the humans, elves and halflings who in turn craft them into many different items, jewelry and magical artifacts. It is said such magical items are being used for evil.
Trade between settlements takes place via the various trade routes, but it is not uncommon for ambushes by bandits of the wild. This has increased the prices of many goods.
The evil deities are at work here.
They have got a firm foothold on the region and it is said they encourage what they consider healthy competition amongst their followers for power. This results in many wars.
There are signs and rumors of Ikinadari and his children making some headway, especially in the southern half on the west coast, however their places of worship and followers rarely make this public for fear of being over-ridden by the masses of dark and evil forces.